Chombo approves Harare turnaround plan

Augustine Mukaro


GOVERNMENT has approved Harare town clerk Nomutsa Chideya’s turnaround plan for the city, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week. Highly-placed sources in council said the plan, dir

ectly borrowed from Johannesburg’s Unicity structure, would be implemented at the beginning of next year.


“Transformation of city departments into business utilities has already started,” sources said.

“A council delegation will be visiting Johannesburg for a study tour towards the end of May. The tour’s main objective is to study the practical day-to-day operations of Unicity structures with the intention of implementing the same concept back home.”

Last year Chideya denied having borrowed parts of his plan from the Johannesburg Unicity structure, claiming instead that it was his brainchild.

The strategic turnaround plan was presented to Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo in November.

Chideya on Wednesday confirmed that his plan had been approved and that they were engaged in consultations on how it would be implemented.

“No date has been set for the delegation’s departure for South Africa but most likely between the end of May and early June,” Chideya said.

“We wouldn’t want to hurry the implementation of the plan before people understand what it entails but it should be ready for implementation early next year.”

The document resembles sacked executive mayor Elias Mudzuri’s Vision Harare 2010 strategic plan which was turned down by Chombo last year, which councillors claimed was prepared by over 25 stakeholder organisations. The Mudzuri document was sponsored and coordinated by Fredrick Naumann Foundation to the tune of $20 million.

The Johannesburg structure is made up of 10 utilities in the form of registered companies wholly owned by council, run on business lines by a city manager and executive directors.

The utilities are self-funding, receiving no annual grants from the city and provide billable services direct to individual households.

Harare’s plan envisages the creation of 12 autonomous business units to run council affairs. It will commercialise income-generating entities and improve revenue collection by the city.

The plan proposes that the local authority would wholly own the business utilities and where necessary enter joint ventures and smart partnerships, technological transfers and strategies alliances with the private sector.

The business utilities include Harare Corporate, which will be responsible for information technology, procurement, human resources, public relations and the administration.

Harare Metro will be in charge of the Harare Metro Police and municipal courts.

Harare Water will cater for water and sewerage treatment, managed by an autonomous Harare Water Authority.

Harare Estate will deal with estate development, valuation, housing and council properties.

There will also be Harare Infrastructure in charge of roads and lighting while Harare Health will be in charge of primary health delivery.

Harare Environment will take over the general cleaning of the municipal area and refuse collection and disposal. It will also take charge of parks and deal with pollution.

Harare Holdings will be the corporate entity that warehouses council’s businesses such as nurseries, chalets, crusher station and farms. Harare Finance will be in charge of accounting, budgeting and revenue collection.

There will also be Harare Social that deals with social services, recreation and sporting facilities and Harare Emergency, which will shelter the fire brigade and ambulance services.

A new division, Harare Civic, will be introduced to give the city a new dimension in civic participation, consultations, and dialogue in order to bring residents and council officials closer together.